February 24, 2014

Under construction

Kennesaw State in a hurry for football success

If Kennesaw State University football coach Brian Bohannon wants to see a blueprint on how to build a competitive football program in a short amount of time, all he has to do is look back on the tradition at one of his past coaching stops.

Bohannon has been tasked with starting the football program at the northwest Metro school in Cobb County. His time as an assistant for now Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson while Johnson was at Georgia Southern should provide much of the history lesson on how to build at Kennesaw State. Georgia Southern revived its football program in the early 1980s and within four years of beginning play, Erk Russell’s team won a Division I-AA national championship.

And while it is doubtful there is a “Beautiful Owl Creek” running along Frey Road in Cobb County, that isn’t going to stop Bohannon and his team from chasing success just as quickly as the Eagles did.

“Before this signing class leaves, we need to compete for a championship,” Bohannon said Monday during an address to the Kiwanis Club of Dalton at the trade center.

Bohannon, a former player at the University of Georgia, has coached with Johnson at GSU, Navy and Tech. Before that, he coached at West Georgia and Gardner-Webb.

The Owls signed their inaugural class on Feb. 5, inking 29 signees to work toward the school’s first season in 2015 which will begin on Sept. 3 at East Tennessee State University. The highlight of the class was Griffin High School quarterback Jaquez Parks, the 2013 Georgia Sports Writers Association’s All-Classification Player of the Year.

The first class features 26 players from the state of Georgia with 14 earning All-State accolades.

The Owls will play in the Football Championship Series (formerly Division I-AA) and will compete in the Big South Conference.

Bohannon plans on adding transfers and preferred walk-ons in the fall semester and will also hold tryouts for students currently enrolled at the school. His goal is to have around 80 players to practice in the fall and will add another class next February.

And while their athletic abilities are a big part of the reason this first group was signed, Bohannon said he needed more than just athletes for the school’s football foundation.

“When we first thought about the kind of players we wanted to bring in for our first class, we had three core values that would serve as the foundation,” Bohannon said. “Ability, academics and character are the three core values we want to build around. We are making history with each new thing we do, and those values will build everything from here forward.”

While the football program at Kennesaw State is new, the facilities are already in place with an 8,300-seat stadium and a football fieldhouse. The school has also worked very hard over the last decade to move away from being primarily a commuter school into a more residential school. New student housing and campus construction and upgrades have pushed the enrollment to more than 26,000. Community support is there with 2,500 season tickets sold with more than 550 days until kickoff.

Bohannon said getting recruits onto the campus for that first visit is the big challenge.

“I lived eight miles from the school, and I knew nothing about it before I was hired as the coach,” Bohannon said. “You travel around and talk to players and coaches and they don’t know anything more than I did. But once they get here, the school is unbelievable with state-of-the-art housing, a great campus and academics that hit just about every major you could imagine. Once you get the kids on campus, the school really sells itself.”


Text Only
  • Dalton State College hires Kerem Daser as soccer director

    Dalton State College athletic director Derek Waugh said Tuesday that Kerem Daser, a veteran soccer coach, is the Roadrunners’ new soccer director.

    July 29, 2014

  • NW vs Cass baseball 6  mlh.jpg Thrown a curveball

    About four weeks ago, Seth Pierce and his family moved closer to Ringgold High School — a move which has big ramifications on two sports fronts. Not only will his departure affect the Northwest Whitfield High School baseball program, the move will also put him back on the football field.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW Football3.jpg Prep football: NW Whitfield staying hungry for more success

    Northwest Whitfield High School entered the 2013 season motivated to reach the state playoffs — something the Bruins accomplished.
    This year’s team possesses the hunger to mirror last season’s successes — and possibly more.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chris Whitfield: Ending ride (kind of) as sports writer

    T wo weeks ago, I was told by managing editor Jamie Jones that I would no longer be a full-time sports writer with The Daily Citizen. It was a mutual decision.

    July 28, 2014

  • Local trio leads NW section to 3rd place

    Tori Owens, of Chatsworth finished 11-over-par Monday in the Junior Sectional Challenge Match at The Landings Club-Marshwood and Magnolia in Savannah for third place in the girls 12-13-year-old 9-hole division. She joined Landon Painter and Hardin Chambless on the Northwest team.

    July 28, 2014

  • SE fball conditioning 1 mlh.jpg Prep football: Raiders enter preseason hoping for breakthrough

    Entering his third year as Southeast Whitfield High School’s football coach, Sean Gray believes the last obstacle is belief.
    He believes this group of Raiders has that quality.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Devin Golden: Other sports start practice this week

    Football isn’t the only high school sport during the fall — and the others are joining in this week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Three locals on NW team in state golf event

    Three local golfers — Hardin Chambless, Tori Owens and Landon Painter — played Sunday in round one of the Junior Sectional Challenge Match.

    July 28, 2014

  • DHS fball condition#1C0E6F8.jpg Prep football: Dalton enters camp well ahead of learning curve

    The joke came quick to the lips of Dalton High School football coach Matt Land when asked how the opening day of conditioning for the Catamounts went on Friday.
    “We can quit and go home,” Land said. “They have it all figured out.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Baseball_Chan.jpg Making a trip into town

    Frank Thomas was always driven to excel, and that sure served him well.
    “I was never that blue-chip prospect,” he said. “I had to outwork my opponents.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Devin Golden's sports updates
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating